As many Americans gear up to support LGBTQ communities during June’s Pride Month, workplaces still have a ways to go when it comes to combating gender and sexual orientation discrimination.
More than half of LGBTQ employees say they have experienced or witnessed verbal discrimination at work, according to a new survey by Glassdoor. An additional 47% of LGBTQ employees worry being “out” at work could hurt their career.
Around 68% of LGBTQ employees also believe their company can offer more support in the workplace. Currently, 26 states do not have explicit prohibitions for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“This is a wake-up call to employers and lawmakers,” Jesus Suarez, Glassdoor’s LGBTQ and Ally Employee Group Leader, said of the survey in a release. “Many employers have an opportunity to build or strengthen the foundation for an inclusive culture that encourages employees to bring their full selves to work.”
Glassdoor surveyed 515 employees who identify as LGBTQ from April 26 to May 6, 2019.
Federal law protecting LGBTQ workers from employee discrimination remains unclear. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts prohibits sex discrimination, it does not specifically mention sexual or transgender individuals. The Supreme Court said it will review cases regarding whether gay and transgender workers can be discriminated against at work in the fall.
The Obama administration ushered in a number of protections for LGBT people, including an executive order that protects LGBT employees working for government contractors from discrimination. The Trump administration, however, has scaled back protections for transgender individuals since 2016, including moves to ban transgender people from the military and narrowly define gender as being just male or female.
While Trump said he is “fine” with same-sex marriage in 2016, Vice President Mike Pence argued against marriage equality during his time in Congress.